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US Envoy Blasts North Korea; Sees More Talks In Weeks December 22, 2006

Posted by notapundit in US News, World News.

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)–U.S. nuclear negotiator Christopher Hill criticized North Korea Friday, saying his counterpart had no authority to negotiate nuclear issues at the just-ended six-party talks, Kyodo News Agency said.

Negotiators didn’t set a date for the next round of talks, but Hill, assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific affairs, said the parties are “talking about weeks, not months.”

“We were…disappointed that we were not able to reach an agreement of the elements that we need” to implement a September 2005 joint statement issued by the six parties, Hill told reporters after the five-day multilateral talks ended without any major progress, according to Kyodo.

Kyodo quoted Hill as saying, when asked why the six parties decided on another recess: “The DPRK did not have the authority to proceed with formal negotiations on the September statement.”

The DPRK stands for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the official name of North Korea.

The Sept. 2005 statement commits Pyongyang to abandon all its existing nuclear programs and weapons in exchange for security assurances and economic benefits.

During the recent talks, North Korea focused on urging the U.S. to lift its financial sanctions and refused to engage in discussions on how to implement the statement.


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